Ahead of the 2019 general elections, a leading democracy strengthening organisation, Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) has engaged various political parties in Nigeria on strengthening and upholding political party ideology and inclusive youth participation in politics.
In his remarks during the seminar in Abuja, the WFD country representative, Adebowale Olorunmola, said the seminar was targeted at increasing citizen participation in politics and educate Nigerians on political parties ideologies which has been downplayed in the nation’s polity.
He said: “The main objective of this gathering is to educate ourselves about political parties ideologies and why it is important to citizen participation, not only citizen participation, but quality participation, and the concern about participation actually emanated from the fact that we have had a lot of defections from one party to the other in recent times, and there has been very active push for youth participation but we understand that we don’t want youths to move from one platform to another, we want very qualitative participation for the youths. Therefore we want to look at how we can bring about increased use of party ideology in our political parties in organising citizen participation.”
In her remarks, an INEC commissioner and the chairman, Election and Party Monitoring Committee, Professor Antonia Simbine said that various measures has been put in place by INEC to ensure credible poll in 2019.
Professor Simbine said efforts were being made to curb the activities of vote buying on election days. She noted that the process would start with the upcoming Osun governorship election.
“We are making all efforts to ensure that the elections are properly organised and conducted, and the Election Day activity is a major aspect of the activities that we carry out during any election, it is unfortunate that the phenomenon of vote buying is trying to spoil all the efforts that we have been making”, she said.
In his goodwill remarks, the director-general of National Orientation Agency (NOA), Dr Garba Abari, said it is important to note that political party ideology sets out the beliefs of the party, and based on them, the basic rules and regulations that guide its members.
Abari represented by his special assistant, David Akoji said the ideology of a political party gives an immediate indication as to what the party’s beliefs are and their philosophies.